The first woman protégé of the Cape Winemakers Guild, Praisy Dlamini, has just completed her 3-year internship honing her winemaking skills under the mentorship of members of the Guild, and has secured her first full-time position as assistant winemaker.
Praisy, who trained under the mentorship of Philip Costandius at Lourensford Wine Estate, David Finlayson at Edgebaston and Pieter Ferreira at Graham Beck Wines, will start her winemaking career as assistant winemaker across a diverse portfolio of wines at Distell, South Africa’s leading wine and spirit company.
“Winemaking is not always an easy journey but having one-on-one interaction with the Guild members who are all masters of their craft, made me realise that passion is contagious and through hard work and dedication I have achieved confidence in my abilities and earned the respect of my peers,” says Praisy.
“There are many opportunities heading my way and the future looks rather bright so I'm grateful that I will now get a chance to put all that I have learnt into practise,” she added.
Praisy, originally from KwaDlangezwa in Northern KwaZulu-Natal, was chosen as the first woman to join the Guild’s Protégé Programme in January 2008 after graduating from Elsenburg Agricultural College with a diploma in Viticulture and Oenology.
The Protégé Programme, launched in 2006, cultivates and nurtures promising graduates to become winemakers of excellence. The programme is financed by the Nedbank Cape Winemakers Guild Development Trust through funds raised by Guild members and an annual donation by the Nedbank Foundation.
Final year students who attend the University of Stellenbosch and Elsenburg Agricultural College studying Viticulture and Oenology can apply for the programme and are selected by a specialist panel. During the three-year internship, Guild members are responsible for mentoring their protégés for a minimum of 6 months and providing them with essential hands-on skills and experience.